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Searching for Evidence Based Information: Nursing

The UC Denver Health Sciences Library's Searching for Evidence Based Information Tutorial is designed to provide a basic overview of the concepts important to searching for high quality information on which to base clinical decisions.

Introduction and Objectives

This page is designed to support nursing students and professionals learning about evidence based practice.

Class Objectives

Learn the types of literature and resources that are evidence based.

Recognize options for limiting literature search retrieval to valid and reliable research studies or systematic reviews/meta-analyses appropriate for clinical decision making;

Search The Cochrane Library, Dynamed, FIRSTConsult, ACP Journal Club, and other clinical information support resources;

Search PubMed MEDLINE using “Clinical Queries” and learn about My NCBI filters

Learn about resources for further learning.

Start Here

Scroll down this page to link to the handouts mentioned in this video. After viewing this video, consider delving deeper into some of the topics covered by visiting the links in the "I want to learn more" box below.

I want to learn more about:

    1. Using the Health Sciences Library  

    2. Pre-search planning and general tips for evidence based searching  

    3. Grey Literature and watch a tutorial  

    4. Resources for background questions  

    5. Guidelines in Dynamed  

    6. Use Nursing Consult's Evidence Based Nursing and Gudelines  

    7. Trip Database and how to search Trip Database  

    8. Cochrane Library  

    9. PubMed searching and the My NCBI personal inbox in PubMed  

    10. CINAHL (Nursing Literature) searching  

    11. EndNote Basic
      EndNote Basic is a free cloud based resource for reference management. Please view a video tutorial if you'd like to learn how to register for an account, load references into EndNote Web, and output the references in a reference list in a particular style and use "Cite While You Write" in MS Word. Sign up for an account via Web of Science, then add references to your EndNote library from Web of Science, Google Scholar, or PubMed. EndNote Basic now includes 2GB of storage to upload the pdfs of articles and associate them with references.
    12. EndNote
      EndNote is a desktop application for reference management and document storage. It is recommended for those writing for publication and thesis authors. A free 30 day trial is available at the website.
      Please email for the following handouts and for assistance:
      • EndNote Handout
      • Advanced EndNote Handout  

Purchasing EndNote at an Education Discount:
UC Denver Anschutz Medical Campus Bookstore: 303-724-BOOK (2665)
Amazon: also sells EndNote at a discount.

Further Learning


JAMAevidence  The AMA provides fundamental tools for understanding and applying the medical literature and making clinical diagnoses. Includes the Users' Guides and Rational Clinical Examination materials.

Evidence Based Databases  Browse a list of databases where you can retrieve information for evidence based decision making.

Evidence Based Health Care Resource Guide compiles resources from agencies and organizations that provide clinical information support, policies, guidelines, education and training related to evidence based health care.

Grey Literature Learn about the concept of grey literature, find resources that collect and track grey literature, and link to a tutorial that discusses how to locate grey literature materials.

Searching for Evidence Based Information Tutorials View video training modules of 5 – 15 minutes in length that demonstrate and discuss the basic aspects of evidence based information retrieval.

Searching for the Evidence  (Handouts)
Class handouts describing some of the evidence-based resources available to Health Sciences Library users. Attachments to this handout are also available:

Ovid Medline and CINAHL Evidence Based Medicine Search Filters (attachment 1)  Learn to use search filters to refine your results.

PubMed Clinical Queries: Clinical Study Categories and Systematic Review / EMBASE Evidence Based Searching (attachment 2)   Learn to use search filters to refine your results.

Sources of Evidence (attachment 3)   Learn more about some recommended sources of evidence based information.

Evidence Based My NCBI Filters (attachment 4)  Set up filters for efficient access to evidence based studies and systematic reviews in PubMed.

6S Pyramid   The 6S Pyramid is a model for describing the types of evidence available for decision-making.

Visual RX Calculator  This tool helps clinician communicate with patients about benefits and harms of treatment to enhance decision making.

Cochrane Library Online Help   Instructional resources for the Cochrane Library, an evidence based systematic reviewing resource.

Ask For Help

If you encounter any problems or have any questions, simply ask any library staff member for assistance. Visit Ask Us! for chat, email, or telephone access.